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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Publishers Behaving Badly....

Awhile back, I blogged about authors behaving badly, and how one should conduct themselves in a professional manner. It's recently come to my attention some publishers need to do the same.

-Answer your email. I realize you may receive a ton of mail per day, but if your newly-contracted author has a valid question, at least forward it to someone who can answer in a timely fashion? And remember; I've most likely 'friended' or 'liked' you on FB, so remember I KNOW you're online and my email has been unanswered for weeks.

-Be honest. If the company is making money, authors should too. Please send checks/prizes won/royalties paid on time. Authors like to know our books are selling, even if what we've sold doesn't even meet the quarterly minimum. Please allow us access to our reports?

-Don't play favorites. Yes, I'm sure every publishing house has their golden child, the author who belongs to the release-of-the-month club and earns big bucks for the company. Remember they didn't start out that way; they worked their way into the Best Sellers like us newbies will...eventually.

-And let authors talk to each other. How can we get to know each other if you don't encourage interaction? You'll get better cross-promotion if we become friendly and can toot each other's horns once in a while. Trust me; my own blogmates do for their own publishing houses.

-Learn to spell, or at least proofread your posts. If you own your own publishing company, don't let me see typos every time you post. I can understand dyslexic fingers; I have them myself at times. But every single post?

-Follow simple instructions. If you're scheduling a chat, tell your authors they have to join the group. Don't just say 'sign me up'. The moderators cannot do it for you. And you expect authors to follow your submission guidelines? There's an idea; 'Here's my MS....publish it for me?' Doesn't. Exactly. Work. That. Way. At times I feel as if you don't really understand how your business works; sort of like a child operating a lemonade stand who wants the customers to provide their own cups or product.

-And if you request an interview on this blog, I send out the questions a month in advance. Please send me back the correct interview and respond to my 'gentle reminders'? I'm easy to work with; just ask anyone who's been showcased the past eight months. Ask my blogmates; I'm a loyal person. If I like your books, I'll shout it from the rooftop. But if I don't, well, you won't hear it here. I'm polite that way.

But act unprofessional and believe me; I'll take my business elsewhere.


Anonymous said...

I think the author and publsher should work together and if it is private agreements then both should honor it and do what they say they are doing.But if the publisher fails then I believe that if I was an author I would also shout it to the rooftops to warn my fellow author's as well because after all if it is done to one it is being no doubt done to many and that one author is not alone.

Katalina Leon said...

New authors beware. There are a lot of boutique publishers opening their doors with the expectation that their work is a part time job.
Check out the company-how long have they been in business?
How often and how well do they update the site?
Is the site professional looking and easy to navigate?
How many members are on staff?
How many authors do they have? I suggest you contact these authors and politely ask about their experience with the press.
I check up on editors as well-these are your creative partners and you need to trust them as team members because sooner or later the going will get rough.
I'll take a professional over a "flaky sweetheart" any day.

jean hart stewart said...

All great advice. THe only thing I can add is check with Preditors and Editors before going with a publisher. You'd be amazed at some of the rating. I forgot to do it once, and never will again...Jean

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